Me & James....
Perry Kurtz was born (?) in 1951 in Philadelphia’s Children’s Hospital at 2:32am at an undisclosed weight. As a 10-year-old Cub Scout (they had no membership restrictions in those days), he briefly entered the entertainment arena when he threw his voice into a sock and began giving puppet shows (at gunpoint) at local playgrounds. (Therapy was later provided to the children free of charge)
Graduating from Northeast High School in 1968, he attended The Hussian School of Commercial Art in downtown Philly. After graduating in 1972 (and paying off his instructors to pass him), he began freelancing for national label companies producing finished art for Pepsi, Tab, Sprite, Levi Strauss, Gerber, and Polaroid, including the design of the Seven Up "bubble pattern" logo in '73(for a measly 300 bucks) (Really!!). In 1974, he became the art director of Neibauer Press, a religious publishing house just outside of Northeast Philly, making an outrageous amount of money.
After the 2 years of high-pressure, a nervous breakdown from overwork, and people constantly asking, "What are you? A comedian?", his close friends suggested that he should (just leave town or) get into comedy. He quit his directorship and entered a talent show at The Crazy Horse Saloon in New Jersey, taking a $100 first prize for just talking and singing a parody of "Eleanor Rigby" as Jerry Lewis (Hey, it was Jersey). He took a comedy workshop (cash upfront) and lived on his savings until 1979. Then, with his last $500, a suitcase, electric guitar, and roller skates he equipped with headlights, he decided to take BOTH suggestions and moved to San Francisco to become a “real” comedian.
Three months later he got his first paying "gig" was as the emcee and manager at the, now closed, Off Broadway Male Burlesque Club on Broadway in North Beach. A few weeks later, at the request of screaming female patrons (they were blind), he gave birth to his "Comic Strip Routine" parody, which he now opens with. (He only takes off his jacket and women STILL give him money). (Some offer more for him to put it back on)
Shortly after arriving in San Francisco, Perry became close friends with Robin Williams as a regular improv partner doing 2 hours every week for 8 years, even appearing with Robin at large shows with over 1000 attendees, and still doing 30 minutes together. In 1983, while having a monthly dinner with Bill Cosby, Perry met and became best friends with Rodney Dangerfield & Milton Berle. Milton took Perry under his wings and taught him all about the business while getting him booked at the Friars Club in Los Angeles 3 or 4 times a year. In '89 Milton got Perry an audition at The Comedy Store. Perry got in and moved to L.A.
In 1983, he left the "Broadway Scene" (which was nothing but sex and drugs)(yeah. Boo Hoo) and pursued comedy in real comedy clubs on the road. A few years later, he was averaging 30 to 40 weeks a year headlining comedy clubs (and getting paid for it. Go figure) across North America and Canada. Just before his birthday in 1989, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he became a paid regular (the money sucks) at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, The Improv in Hollywood, and Dangerfields in New York City (which at least covers gas money).
He currently resides in Los Angeles, has 16 year old child that dances like a dream, and works as a corporate comedian, comedy producer, comedy consultant, humor motivator and instructor, senior entertainer, and Perry continues to stay busy every night either at a comedy club, blues bar, or Karaoke where he freestyles about whatever the crowd is doing AS they do it to ANY song,.
Perry has headlined most major U.S. comedy clubs, appeared on Let’s Make A Deal, America’s Got Talent, was a free-lance writer and has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, on The Late Late Show with James Corden, in the new Booking.com commercial as the spinning dancer, and continues to appear in comedy & senior venues around the world. He has still not appeared on Jerry Springer.